Should you be Rethinking Your Position Statement?

Amazon uses an approach called  working backwards stating that, ”work backwards from the customer, rather than starting with an idea for a product and trying to bolt customers onto it.” This approach starts with an internal press release announcing the finished product.  The template for this approach is on the left side of the chart below.  I find this to be a fresh, customer-centric approach, and a viable alternative to a positioning statement.

A positioning statement is a brief description of your target audience and how it solves their business problems (including competitive differentiators).  It needs to be concise and written from the context of the perception you want for the product or brand in the marketplace. The position statement is a core component in a Go-To-Market framework.  When crafting a position statement, there are many articles, blogs and templates out there to choose from.  I use Geoffrey Moore’s positioning template from his Crossing the Chasm book, the outline for which is on the right side of the chart.

Position Statement Chart

The similarities are clear.  Both are straightforward, succinct, and customer-focused.  Each one serves their purpose; to serve as a vehicle for discussion with the executive team, product management, product marketing, and sales.  I like the Amazon template because of its complete transparency in representing the product exactly as the customer will perceive it.  If the press release doesn’t resonate then it is back to the drawing board to rework what you want for the product.  It is a creative way to communicate and reach cross-functional consensus.  I will be looking to use this approach in the future

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